Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Sorex hoyi

American Pygmy Shrew

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae

Image of Sorex hoyi
Sorex hoyi - summer
Click to enlarge. (57 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The American Pygmy Shrew is able to thrive in a great variety of habitats and vegetation types. It can live where the environment is wet, dry, cold, or warm. This tiny animal exudes a strong musky-smelling substance. It is very agile and can jump as high as 110 mm. Its snout is long, with conspicuous whiskers, and is constantly in motion. American Pygmy Shrews have a variety of calls, including purrs, whispers, squeaks, and high-pitched whistling sounds. Snakes, hawks, cats, and foxes all prey on them, and they, in turn, prey on small arthropods and worms, and eat some plant matter.

Also known as:
Pygmy Shrew

Average: 98.2 mm
Range: 66-106 mm

Range: 2.1-7.3 g


Baird, S. F., 1857. Mammals: general report upon the zoology of the several Pacific railroad routes. Vol. 8, pt. 1, p. 32, in Reports of explorations and surveys to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Senate executive document no. 78, Washington, D.C., 757 pp.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Sorex hoyi

Image of Sorex hoyi
Sorex hoyi - winter
Click to enlarge. (60kb)